Season starts on Saturday for Buffaloes

By Kim Richardson
STAR Correspondent
Believe it or not, baseball is back, and the Milligan College Buffaloes take to the diamond Saturday at Georgia Southwestern College for a doubleheader, followed by a noon game on Sunday.
Milligan is a mixed bag this season, according to head coach Danny Clark.
"We've hit the ball quite well so far," said the Milligan skipper. "Defensively, we seem to be doing all right."
The onus will be on the Buffs' young pitching staff to perform early.
"We're front-loaded," said Clark, referring to Milligan's tough early schedule. "We'll be playing a tough Division 2 schedule early, so I hope it will help us come conference time."
Will Little will be Milligan's outfield leader and probably their leadoff batter. Little brings speed to the outfield and base paths.
Jacob McAllister will bat in the No. 2 spot and play left field. The left-handed McAllister is also expected to contribute from the mound, and might start several games.
Dustin Price is a pro prospect, and is expected to lead the Buffs offensively. Price is a two-year starter who will bat third.
David Rusaw will play right field after playing first base last year. Rusaw has the best swing on the team, according to Clark, and his RBI production will go a long way in determining the success of this young Milligan team.
Brian Miller will play first base and pitch in relief. Miller, a former Science Hill all-star quarterback, attended Central Florida, where he played football.
Another two-year starter is Nathan Meade at second base. Meade is a great base runner and very steady defensive player.
Catching for the Buffaloes is returning starter Nathan Chandler. Chandler is a very strong-armed catcher who makes stealing bases very difficult for opponents.
Brad Hitch anchors a very talented infield at shortstop. Hitch is another returning starter.
Freshman catcher Thomas Lister has the potential to play early.
"He'll see a lot of playing time," Clark said. "He has a very strong bat."
Fellow freshman, Cody Cannon, from Happy Valley, creates depth at the plate, both offensively and defensively.
"He's been hitting the ball very well so far," Clark said. "He's really come a long way since fall."
Chris Gordon will also back up at catcher.
"Overall, I like this team's hitting and defense," stated Clark. "If the pitching comes through, we could make a run at Brevard and Tennessee Wesleyan. I think they're the teams to beat."
The starting rotation will probably be McAllister, Todd Speas, Chad Davis and Adam Taylor. Chris Shockley will pitch in relief, and could also start.
Happy Valley grad Cody Whitlock could also see playing time in the outfield.
McAllister said: "We feel that we'll be competitive. We have several returners who can play. We have a good defensive team, and I think the pitching will progress to where we're a contender."
McAllister, a junior, is a former Virginia High School standout.
Garrett Reed, from Daniel Boone High School, hopes to see playing time in the outfield.
"We have a pretty balanced team," Reed said, "and it will be very competitive for any of the younger players hoping to see the field."